06 June 2010

I'm so tired out.

Like my last post foreshadowed, I have a tale to tell about my tires. I decided to get some real offroad tires, and that meant getting rid of my old ones. I ordered a set online and they delivered in a few days along with my other parts. They looked like great tires, nice and meaty and ready to be put on the rims.

I had only changed one tire on my bike previously and before that I hadn't changed a tire in probably 25 years. Remember back to your childhood, do you remember changing tires on your bmx bike? My brother and I did it all the time, so many times in fact that on some of our bikes we had stripped the the axle bolts quite badly. That was 25 years ago...

I've read quite a few ride reports of people going on international adventures and having to change their tires out on the road. Quite often they pinch their tube with the levers required to remove the tire from the rim. I didn't really think much of it, because they were in the middle of nowhere and had inferior tools, so occasionally one would expect this to happen. Well, I had a garage and all the proper tools with me so that would never happen to me right? Well it did happen, twice.

I started changing my front tire and had a heck of a time pulling the rubber over the bead seat on the rim. I tried multiple times to grab the inside of the rubber and finally succeeded. Then I had to do it three more times. I did get it done in a reasonable amount of time, pressured up the tire and mounted it on the bike, but I knew the rear was going to be tougher.

The rear tire was a mess. It is much heavier than the front and rubber removal is very difficult unless you get the tire deep in the indent in the center of the rim. I struggled with it for probably 45 minutes. I got it all ready to air up and struggled to seat the bead in the rim. Finally I got the tire ready to mount. I took a small rest and discovered that the tire was flat. AARGH! I was filled with rage and knew exactly what I had done pinching the tube while trying to pry the rubber back over the rim. Knowing I had done this, and it being late in the evening I knew I was going to have to come back and check the other tire in the morning before going to the dealer to get a new tube for the rear. (and the front since it was flat in the morning)

The next time around I was sure not to make the same mistake. I was very cautious prying the rubber back over the rims, and successfully completed the job. In order to seat the beads on the rim, you must put a lot of pressure in the tires, somewhere around 60-80PSI, luckily I have a small compressor in my garage. Unfortunately for me, my car is in the body shop right now with my tire pressure indicator in the glovebox. I don't want to ride on these tires without having them properly pressurized, since they are offroad tires they will heat up on the pavement quickly if they are under inflated and they will wear quickly if they are over inflated, and apparently need to be "broken in" before I can ride hard on them.

This post was probably more dramatic than it needed to be but what's a story without a little drama. I can't wait to try my new tires on Wednesday night. This time I'll make sure I have batteries in the camera.

1 comment:

giantjoe said...

I just checked the pressure in the tires and they were way up around 35PSI. Good thing I bought a new gauge for $2.99.